Natalie van der Wal is an energetic and enthusiastic Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Behavioural Informatics Group, dept. Computer Science, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands. She is specialised in the computational modelling of cognitive and affective processes in groups. With her current research on crowd behaviour for the European H2020 project ‘IMPACT’, she aspires to improve safety by predicting crowd behaviour in emergency situations. She will continue her research in improving evacuations next year with her recently awarded Marie Sklowdowska-Curie Fellowship. She will work with professor Wandi Bruine de Bruin in the Centre for Decision Research and the Leeds University Business School.
Previously she worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Socio-Technical Centre of the Leeds University Business School, UK, as an Assistant Professor at the dept. of Computer Science, Vrije Universiteit, NL and as a Researcher at CAMS Forcevision, Royal Dutch Navy, NL. She finished her dissertation ‘Social Agents’ in 2012. Her PhD consisted of agent based modelling of emotion contagion processes, e.g. the spread of fear in crowds and spread of negative emotions amongst depressive patients and their caregivers. She received her Masters degree (cum laude) in Artificial Intelligence in 2009 from the Faculty of Exact Sciences (Vrije Universiteit), her Bachelors Degree in Cognitive and Clinical Neuropsychology in 2007 from the Faculty of Psychology (Vrije Universiteit) and her ‘Doctoraal’ (equivalent to a Bachelor & Master’s) in Film, Television and New Media Studies in 2003 from the Faculty of Humanities (University of Amsterdam).